10 $ Tips

What you need to know to make it through college and beyond

1: Take charge of your life - and your money

Take charge of your life - and your money

-It is important to analyze your financial situation so you can make a plan, set goals, and most importantly act on them. Having a plan will ensure that you can save money and aren't overspending on unnecessary things.

*a good website to help you understand the basics of financial planning is http://financialhighway.com/financial-planning-basics-the-financial-pyramid/

2: Protect your personal information!!!

This is essential to protecting yourself from identity theft which can cost you thousands of dollars and ruin your financial situation. Keep your social security number, credit card numbers, ATM, and debit card pins to yourself unless you are sure a website or company is secure. Also look over your credit card bills, and bank statements to find fraud.

3: Separate needs from wants

This is a huge key to financial success. It is very easy for a person to confuse wants and needs but in order to really save money and build a strong financial base, this tip is crucial. A few dollars here and there really add up to make or break someone's wealth. To help differentiate form wants and needs try to think of the big picture and realize that what seems really important to you now is meager in comparison to what you may need in the future.

4: Pay the rent on time

This will help you build good credit which will be very important for applying for loans in the future, but it will also help you avoid fees that can build up and eventually consume you in debt. By paying your rent on time, you get into the good habit of paying all bills on time before treating yourself to your wants. This will save you a lot of money and hassle in the future.

5: Choose the meal plan that works for you

By choosing the right plan, you can avoid wasting money on snacks which can be very expensive but you also don't want to be over paying when you will be properly nourished with a less expensive plan. Analyzing this situation will get you used to knowing more about yourself and prepare you for choosing other plans like phone plans in the future. Also be sure to make the most of your meal plan! If you are paying for food don't waste your money eating elsewhere!!!

6: Take advantages of student discounts

Countless places offer a student discount, so take advantage of it! Don't be afraid to ask. Some places that might offer them are the movies, banks, hotels, and insurance companies. It may not seem like a lot of money at the time but those discounts can add up fast!

*here is a list of various companies that offer student discounts! http://www.bradsdeals.com/blog/student-discounts

7: Get into the savings habit

Saving money isn't easy. It takes discipline and hard work. But overtime, you become used to it and learn to live comfortably without that money. In the long run, you will be thanking yourself for the small sacrifices you have been making as they really add up to a large sum when you are older especially if you put them into retirement accounts or invest them in other ways.

8: Learn about your options for saving and investing money

Saving money periodically is great, but even better when you can make that money grow. Try to learn more about retirement funds, 401ks, CDs, money market accounts, savings accounts, bonds, stocks, and mutual funds. Understanding your options is the first step to making your money grow. Investing can be very beneficial but also risky if you don't understand it. Choose the option that is best for you and you will see a big difference in your savings.

9: Build good credit

Building good credit is so important. If you need to apply for a loan for a house, car, or to start a business, having good credit is absolutely necessary. In addition, good credit will save you money on interest rates when paying back loans. To build good credit, make sure you always pay bills on time, repay loans, and don't bounce checks. These will build into good habits that you will keep forever.

10: Take control of your credit card

So many young adults get into trouble with credit card debt. Don't make yourself one of them. Shop around for a card with low fees that works for you. Be aware of hidden fees and try to pay your bills in full each month on time to avoid paying extra interest and money. Once you get into credit card debt, fees keep escalating and it is hard to get out of it. Credit cards can be helpful to build good credit and make easy purchases but only when used responsibly.

BONUS TIP: Pay yourself first!

One of the most import an tips is to always pay yourself first. This requires some foresight but it will be so helpful in the future. Set aside some cash each month before spending it. save your loose change and don't spend work bonuses. This money can be used for emergencies or hopefully saved to provide you with a relaxing retirement where you don't need to be worried about money.